Obese or overweight children. It is not easy to talk about it. In June, at the end of the school year I was happy about meeting with a group of teenagers from gymnasium and children from primary school to discuss about healthy nutrition. We had a lot of meetings like this. We talked about the food pyramid or vitamins, but this time I wanted to raise a difficult topic and unwilling to discuss.
Obese children in Poland
It is hard to talk about – even more among youngsters who are sensitive about their look, especially girls, even though boys more and more often tend to look into mirror, tautening their muscles.
Preparing my presentation (which is going to go online tomorrow on YouTube), I had a look at statistics of the World Health Organization.
The results made me sure that obesity among the youth, overweight among children, cannot be ignored.
I had mixed feelings – how to start?
I know perfectly well that children or teenagers (gymnasium students) have very little impact on their way of eating.
Every time, while preparing for a meeting I have the same thought in mind: such a presentation should be given to parents, not the children.
Well, but there is the other side of the coin. I often get the feed-back from parents who say that their children talk about the meeting as soon as they come back home. Then, they start their evening discussions with their parents. That’s the point!
I deeply believe that after the next meeting and next discussions some of them will put the tips into practice.
Returning to the statistics issue: In Poland, 64% of men and 49% of women are overweight at least. Did you know about it?
It doesn’t come from the air.
Now, children – the Polish children grow fat faster than children from any other part of the world. It is true that we are still better than Americans, but I did not suppose we may get so close to them. Why so?
The parent cannot see
We spent time with our loved ones everyday and we miss the moment when our children start being too… big. Grandparents cheer them up for their healthy look, and say how sweet they are with their round shapes. We can see it. But … there is the growth chart and scales to show us the facts. Sometimes it’s good to be objective and check what our child weight is. Remember – “healthy plump” children do not exist, but obese.
Overweight and obesity of children start at home.
Home is the place where we develop our habits – the healthy and unhealthy ones.
When a child grows with the belief that breakfast may be eaten at school and they can leave their house 30 minutes after getting up, the whole healthy nutrition education sucks.
If the parent doesn’t care whether his or her child eats breakfast at home, the child will think about healthy food, but will not carry it out.
At the first class at school, instead of thinking about maths, etc., he or she is thinking of breakfast.
But when the first school break comes, hunger intensifies and your child is more likely to eat fast food such as sweet buns from machine than the fruit taken from home. That’s how overweight starts and where the problem of obesity comes from.
Substantial and rich meal for breakfast. This is the PRIORITY.
You all know about it and apply it, of course. Everybody do this.
But the child will tell you the truth.
I could see how many people raised their hands when I asked them at the meeting “who had breakfast at home today?”
Too many people kept their hands down.
The genes or bad habits?
It is so hard to say: we have obese children because of the genetic predisposition they inherited from me or my husband.
The article it subjectively approached so I will let myself comment on that: I do not believe in something like this. I cannot stay calm when I hear so. These are EXCUSES!
A child sees and follows. If you do not care about healthy habits, it is a sure thing that your child will have exactly the same routine.
If you eat your first meal at about 11 a.m. at work, why you wonder why your child does not want to eat breakfast before going to school?
You force your child to eat, which make him or her cry and angry, and then the morning food instead of being a nice start of the day, it becomes “trauma” for your child. And then biscuits, sweet buns and juice add fuel to the fire.
Have you seen the video I posted on the sportsman’s mother’s FB profile?
Parents and children were asked separately: if you could eat your dinner in restaurant with anyone, alive or dead, who would the person be?
Adults said: Justine Bieber, Eric Clapton… – they named celebrities, politicians, businessmen or women.
Later, it was children’s turn.
Their answers were: „I’d like to go to restaurant with my mum and dad”, or “I’d like to spend my dinner time with my parents”.
We rush, grow big, do not think
We do everything in rush. We throw any food into our mouth, teach our children the same, and family dinner are only reserved for Sunday.
Wake your child up 30 minutes earlier. It may be practical to make yourself eat breakfast at 6 a.m. Believe me – it does not hurt and your child will be happy spending 10 minutes with his or her mum or dad at the table every morning.
10 minutes – so little, but so good for the start
Let’s eat breakfast together tomorrow morning